The Top 10 Everyday Habits That Are Harming Your Health

We all know about those bad habits that can wreck your health and cut your life short. Smoking, forgetting to floss your teeth — the list is so familiar, there’s no point in going back over it. But there are also everyday habits that are more hazardous to our health than we realize.

Here are the top 10 everyday habits that are ruining your health, and what you should be doing instead. (Page 10 is way worse than you think!)

1. Wearing flip-flops

Flip flops

Flip flops can lead to painful sprains. | Eternalcreative/iStock/Getty Images

How could this warm weather staple be hazardous to my health? you may be thinking. For starters, they set you up for injury. “Flip-flops offer little support, and this predisposes one to injuries, (such as) sprains and fractures of the foot or other parts of the body,” Dr. Andrew Shapiro tells Thrillist. Plus, these open-toe shoes leave your feet susceptible to germs.

Next: We’re all guilty of this next thing …

2. Holding in sneezes

Woman sneezing

By not letting your sneeze out, you’re harming your health. | Karinsasaki/iStock/Getty Images

You may think you’re being polite by not loudly sneezing. But this is actually harming your health, certified fitness specialist Jim White tells Men’s Journal. “Our sneezes move at up to 100 miles per hour, so holding it in, in extreme cases, can cause fractures in nasal cartilage, nose bleeds or even detached retinas,” he warns.

Next: This one may surprise you …

3. Washing your hair too often

Hair wash

This can strip the natural oils from your hair. | Esp2k/iStock/Getty Images

You may want to consider jumping on the dry shampoo bandwagon. As it turns out, it’s unhealthy for your hair to be too clean. ““A lot of times, (shampoo) actually strains natural oils from the hair and causes it to be more brittle,” White tells Men’s Journal. So having a little extra oil in your hair is actually a good thing.

Next: But now here’s something you shouldn’t have a little extra of …

4. Adding extra sauce


Too much of certain sauces can have negative impact on your weight and heart health. | KuzminSemen/iStock/Getty Images

We’re all for the food you eat tasting delicious. But some of your favorite condiments are wreaking havoc on your body. Registered dietitian Stefanie Senior tells the Huffington Post that many of your favorite condiments pack in added ingredients like extra fat, sodium, and sugar, which can contribute to problems such as obesity and heart disease.

Next: Who know this common habit was so bad for you?

5. Carrying your wallet in your pocket

wallet in his pants pocket

This may ruin your body’s natural alignment. | Smutnypan/iStock/Getty Images

It may shock you to see this on a list of harmful habits. But  Dr. Scott Schreiber, a chiropractic physician, tells Thrillist carrying a heavy wallet or cellphone in your back pocket “causes an unnatural tilting of the pelvis, causing strain and stretching of the ligaments, muscles to compensate, and pain in the pelvis and back.”

Next: This bad habits hurts for a reason …

6. Forgetting to take your contacts out

Pain in bed

We’d argue there isn’t much that’s worse than that dry-eyed feeling. | AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images

There’s no worse way to wake up in the morning to painful eyeballs — the reminder that you forgot to take your contacts out the night before. And if you’re someone who does this often, it’s doing more damage than causing you pain. Men’s Journal tells us “contact lenses block the tissue of your eye from receiving oxygen,” and that overuse can damage your corneas.

Next: Most of us are guilty of this one …

7. Taking your phone to bed with you

Using mobile in bed

Does this habit keep you from sleeping? | Tomwang112/iStock/Getty Images

Here’s a bad habit that most people are guilty of nowadays, and they do it anyways. For starters, the light from your phone — especially in the dark — can throw your circadian rhythms out of whack. Additionally, this adds to the long hours you spend staring at your phone, computer, and TV screens all day, which is doing long-term damage to your eyes.

Next: This habit has a little wiggle room …

8. Sitting for too long

Long route driving

You may want to rethink those long road trips. | Oneinchpunch/iStock/Getty Images

We get it — if you’re stuck on an international flight or drive a vehicle for a living, you probably sit more than the average person. But it’s important to get up and stretch your legs every once in a while, because sitting for too long has a long-term negative impact on your spine and internal organs.

Next: This bad habit has some faithful followers …

9. Doing rigorous exercise right before bed

Man sweating from exercise

A nighttime exercise habit may hinder your sleep. | Bluberries/iStock/Getty Images

This is one of those heavily debated topics that needs a little extra explanation. Many outlets say that exercising late at night causes sleep difficulties. Yet there are individuals who only have time to hit the gym late at night and claim that they don’t have a problem sleeping. Here’s the key: Just don’t do an intense at-home workout and then try to jump into bed. Try night time stretches instead.

Next: You probably had no idea how bad this habit is!

10. Googling your health problems

Man searching on google

This is one thing everyone should avoid, talk to your doctor instead. | Prykhodov/iStock/Getty Images

Long story short: Most of us aren’t doctors. And identifying with a condition online is more likely to lead to a misdiagnosis, and improper treatment. “Patients buy unnecessary over-the-counter medications that can mask or make their symptoms worse,” Dr. Sherry Ross, an OB/GYN, tells Thrillist. (For a better alternative, check out page 14.)

Next: And now, on to ways to be healthier …

11. Instead: Set aside electronic-free time

Happy couple

Take time to get to know the people around you. | Ivanko_Brnjakovic/iStock/Getty Images

Telling people to completely disconnect from their electronics is ridiculous in modern times. However, blocking off specific times to unplug is not only doable, but good for your health. Block off a little bit of time every day when you don’t have a cellphone or laptop nearby, and give your strained eyes and overworked typing fingers a break.

Next: Before revamping your entire diet …

12. Instead: Be a mindful eater

Eaing healthy

Eat slowly and mindfully. | RossHelen/iStock/Getty Images

Skipping unhealthy foods and condiments is only half the battle. How you eat plays a role as well. As Healthline perfectly summarizes, mindful eating helps you control your weight and reduces instances of binge-eating.

Next: The more people you can get on board with this, the better!

13. Instead: Switch up happy hour

Friends hiking

Get outside rather than hitting the bar. | Jacoblund/iStock/Getty Images

Cutting out unhealthy habits is something that you can do with your friends, family, significant other, whoever you choose! Instead of meeting for happy hour drinks and onion rings, propose going on weekend hike or another physical activity that can double as social time and cardio vascular exercise.

Next: This can be more beneficial than you think …

14. Instead: Call your doctor

Visiting a doctor

Your doctor is a professional and should be trusted over anything you see on WebMD. | Nensuria/iStock/Getty Images

Step away from the WebMD page and call your physician if you have a health concern. It’s the best way to ensure that you get a proper diagnosis. Depending on what your ailment is, your doctor may prefer that you should an appointment. (And depending on what the problem is, your doctor probably won’t want to diagnose you over the phone.)

Next: One final thing to remember …

15. Don’t let your habits get the best of you

Positive attitude

It’s a process, so don’t be too hard on yourself. | FotoCuisinette/iStock/Getty Images

You may feel a little down on yourself if you have more than one bad habit on this list. But you shouldn’t let those habits get the best of you or get you down. Instead, make a conscious effort to adjust things little by little. It’s the best stepping stone for creating a healthier, and happier, you.

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